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North American Menopause Society:

Higher intakes of certain fruits/vegetables may result in fewer menopause symptoms

A new study suggests that a higher intake of fruit and vegetables may also play a role in lessening various menopause symptoms. Study results are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Although hormone therapy has been proven to be an acceptable method for treatment of menopause-related symptoms for many women, the search for nonpharmacologic treatment options is ongoing, especially for women with certain risk factors and those who are not candidates for hormone therapy. Specifically, there has been a focus on identifying modifiable lifestyle factors that might prevent or alleviate menopause symptoms.

Previous studies have suggested that dietary factors may play a critical role in estrogen production, metabolism, and consequently, menopause symptoms. In particular, the consumption of fruits or a Mediterranean-style diet, characterized by a high content of vegetables, fruits, cereals, and nuts, was linked to fewer menopause symptoms and complaints. This new study goes a step further in looking at specific fruits and vegetables and their effects on various menopause symptoms.

Researchers concluded that, although some subgroups of fruits and vegetables had an inverse association with menopause symptoms, a higher intake of other subgroups appeared to be associated with more urogenital problems. Citrus fruits, for example, were called out as having an adverse effect on urogenital scores compared with other types of fruits, as were green leafy or dark yellow vegetables compared with other vegetables.

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